December 28, 2012

don't you understand, i'm never changing who i am

"You’re loud.”

It’s a statement I’ve heard a number of times, and I couldn’t agree any more. But believe me, I’ve tried to be someone else. I’ve tried to keep my “cool” and be a quiet person who wanted to go with the flow. I've tried to be serious, tried to be calm.

And I just couldn’t.

There’s a spark inside of me that screams to start a flame, to be the real me and tell someone a joke already. It hollers to start bringing in those stories that I heard over the weekend, to start a laughing chain, or to start dancing my “so called” ballet in the middle of the hallway. It’s that spark that dares me to make the first move, to be a risk taker and to be the different person. It challenges me to be better at what I do to—and it constantly reminds me that it’s always better to do things when I having fun.

Although it isn’t always so happy-go-lucky for me. Sometimes people think otherwise about me. Sometimes they hate it, or they’re annoyed. And all of that causes me to try and be or act like a different person; to live inside the deep ends of the cave of fear where I’m drenched in pretending to be someone I’m not.

Well, live and learn, right?

It pains me to say so, but I’m not always going to make everyone happy. I’m not always going to be able to make someone smile or laugh. Some people find interest in other things, some people are going through stages in life that I probably will never be able to understand. And it hurts. It hurts that there are some people that I can’t find emotion in. It hurts that some people think that what I do or say could be weird. But I’ve learned that these people—that anything at all—shouldn’t give me the permission to be someone else, because this is who I am, and there is nobody in this world that can change that.

So. Back to the start.
Nice to meet you. I am Stella.
I am loud, and I love it.   

December 22, 2012

(remember a time you were very happy)

she was leading 4-2. one more point for her, and she'd lead by three sets.
but if i got this serve in, i'd have a better chance.
ace. back to deuce. one more serve.
in. she gives me a backhand and i kill it. 4-3.

i never expected it to be that way, my first tennis game. my teammates were depending on me - screaming my name repetitively from behind the metal fence. my parents were watching, and this was my chance to show them that i had a bit of the athlete in me. just a bit of it. although the pressure sunk in heavily, all the pep talks from my coach, all the laps we had to run, all the drills we had to do - led to this.

and i won that game, 6-5.
i was so, so happy.

you see, i choose to be happy almost all the time. this happy, however, was at a whole different level: not the kind of happy that i feel when i jump into a cold swimming pool on a scorching summer afternoon, or the kind of happy when i witness someone trying nutella for the first time. it was earned happiness, a deserved kind of happiness. all the hard work for an earned feeling - a feeling that is initially expected and desired, then sooner attained.

and so;
i remember how my parents kept their hands on my shoulders, as if they were showing me off like a huge sweepstake prize. i remember the feeling of anticipation when i hit my final backhand. i remember the big slap on my back that victory gave me the moment i saw the score board. and i remember giving off what seemed to be a smile to others, but so much more to me, inside.

merry christmas!!!

December 9, 2012

hello, december !

for saturdays,
for the scent of cinnamon on christmas eve,
for sprinkles and marshmallows on cupcakes,
for long, soothing bubble baths,
for a pizza delivery that comes in earlier,
for books with earned endings,
for lord of the rings,
for the rays of the sun that peek through my curtains every golden hour,
for friends that are always going to be there and;
for every little thing in this world that I don't deserve.

December 1, 2012


Besides adoring C Thomas Howell in The Outsiders, I have been so excited with these stuff that I scored from online! If you follow me on Instagram (stellapangilinan), some of you might know what I'm going all crazy about, but for the first time after so long, I've finally been able to find a box sitting on the kitchen table labelled to me!

And time has gone by so fast! I can't believe the year will be ending in a month. 
I'll be fourteen in less than two months!

November 24, 2012

vanilla cupcake bakery

this post is for all of my teenage filipino readers who 
1. love vintage things
2. love sweet treats

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the opening of the most delicious cupcake store in the whole Philippines by far - Vanilla Cupcake Bakery! I'm serious, you guys, this is going to be the next big thing, and you - reader - better be the first among your friends to know about it!

When it comes to eating cupcakes, many things can influence the sweet experience that you experience on your first bite. One, it's the ambiance of the place you're eating in. I'll let you know - a cute shop with vintage furniture totally delivers a vintage, making it ten times better to eat their cupcakes! They have the cutest furniture and the cutest store look - definitely one of the most noteworthy restaurant designs here in Manila. SO unique!

What I love most about their shop besides how they fix it up is the variety of their cupcakes. Some cupcake stores that I know of in the Philippines normally have just one main flavor, or one main dish that everyone keeps coming at. When I order and buy from Vanilla, there are so many for me to choose from! From their classic Vanilla Cupcake (definitely a must get) to their NY Cheesecake, you can never be disappointed.

I think that the most fun I can have in Vanilla is with my mom or my best friend. Although it is a brilliant place for families and friends to come together and eat cupcakes, I think that the girls of the family would have the most fun. My tip? Head over to Trinoma or Glorietta right now and bring your friends along! Hurry up and get the cupcakes while they still last!

Good cupcakes and a good store altogether is not easy to find. I'm so happy that I've finally found one.

My favorites:
- Vanilla Cupcake
- NY Cheesecake
- Red Velvet
- Salted Caramel
- Nutella Chocolate
- Iced Tea

November 18, 2012

you are brilliant

dear you,

here's a little something that
i want you remember 
despite anything
(or everything)
that's going on.

never lose the spark
that makes you - you.
never - ever - dim the light
that shows others
the person you really are underneath.
show them that you're strong,
that you are capable.

you are brilliant.

you have amazing ideas
that only you can say.
you have got something to share
for the world.

and never forget,
- in the process of your sharing -
you are already a winner.


November 7, 2012

wishing + listing; loving, thinking, reading

these are some photos that i found after having an unknown roll of film from my closet developed. they're photos that i took from a family trip almost 4 years ago.


i can't help it. the traditional and mainstream "christmas wish list post" is up this early - deliberately giving a huge message to my parents about what i'm crossing my fingers on as i look under our tree on christmas day. {teehee}
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

+ loving: that quote up there, no-homework days, sushi & developing unknown rolls of film +

+ thinking: there's a parcel coming this month from etsy. oh, surprises. +

+ reading: to kill a mockingbird - finally+

:: also because this girl is made up of all things awesome ::

November 4, 2012


there's something about people that i really admire. maybe it's our capabilities? how diligent we are to create advanced technologies and whatever. maybe it's our own fate? how everyone has their own story, their own purpose and their own destiny? maybe it's our success? from typewriters to touch screen, from pinball to temple run...

yes, i guess, in some ways.
man's triumphs and success is absolutely beautiful and admirable.

but - no - in its own ways as well.
there is so much more behind triumph and success.

i love people because we have the capability to learn. we always have open windows that allow us to look outside and expand our mindset on things - to yearn for answers and knowledge. and through the many situations that this roller coaster of life gives us- let it be as ambiguous as identifying a new car smell & choosing whether we like it or not, or as big as choosing an investment company for something really big - we learn something new everyday.

and we learn things because?
we're imperfect. there is still so much more for us to learn.

pencils need erasers and keyboards need delete buttons. we know what failure feels like so that there is such thing as success. i love how we learn to mend ourselves on a daily basis - whether it be through friends, long hours on pinterest, reading the bible during golden hour, or taking the first bite of a red velvet cupcake. we learn to mend the wounds that is caused by society and its people, we learn to live the better life - we slowly understand the world and how it works and we make the most if it. and everyday, as we fail and succeed, we learn more about ourselves, which makes this journey more eventful in every way possible.

it's not easy for all of us to acknowledge the fact, but this life that we have is the biggest self discovering journey that anyone or anything might ever have. we learn about what we like and what we don't like; we realize things and take it all in. everyday is a higher step to learning who we really really are inside.

i've been thinking about opening a blog like this for months - it's finally on.

{ it's good to be back here, haha }
{ i think that jack dawson is my new favorite movie character }

October 19, 2012

nothing going on

{ all these photos are taken on manual - woo! }
I've finally learned how to shoot on manual, and it's not as difficult as I had expected. 
This month has been plain, flat boring. I haven't done anything exciting lately.

Anyways, I'm sorry for being away for a long time. This week actually lasted longer than I thought. They call "hell week", because it's the end of the term. It's when all the work starts to come in and eventually would leave us all hanging on sewing thread. 

I promise a better post soon.
Until then, see this & this & this and fall in love all over again.
Aaron Johnson, you beautiful thing.

October 7, 2012

nothing lasts forever

My eight year old cousin asked me one day to not grow up.


A few years ago, when Tumblr was my inspiration space, I came across this text post that read: "Remember when one of the only things we used to cry about were the wounds on our knees?" And it hit me pretty hard. Wow, I told myself. I miss being a lot younger. You know, how everything else in the world besides cookies didn't matter?

It's stupefyingly awful, actually - the fact that nothing lasts forever. This only place that I can call my home - the way the cracks on bathroom tiles curve, or the way the paint on our roof slowly starts to lose its color- won't last forever. The recipe to my all time favorite cinnamon cookies won't last forever - neither will those cookies in the jar. And this "youth"? This, somehow, short amount of time that I have left before I graduate high school, and sooner or later graduate college - it won't last forever. And honestly? It's kinda sad.

I've thought about this almost a hundred of times - what does an old man or woman feel when they see kids? I mean, I'm practically still a kid, I run after Ice Cream carts that roam the streets, I open the window of our car and stick my head out, allowing the wind to graze through my bouncy hair. I still design my own pizzas, once in a while I climb trees. I brag my tennis skills to my younger cousins who can merely hit the ball, I host running events with my friends - I can't help it, I am a kid. 

But how does it feel - for my grandma, who's almost eighty years old, to look at me running, jumping and being so lively? Does jealousy continuously sting? Does her head and heart start to ache as she (most probably) has some vague memories of her childhood?

Source (Tumblr) 
Remind me to check back at this post about 80 years from now if I get to make it, but I think I'd cry. Really, 101% honestly. The pain will continuously throb on my heart - how it's over. My youth. Will I even remember this blog? Will I remember this house - the cracks on the bathroom tiles, that cinnamon recipe of mine - my freshman year, my birthday - anything? 

This is why I take photographs. I take photos to remember. To look back. Once a month, I go through my whole hard drive, looking at photos from birthdays, from occasions, from everyday life in school to huge events in hotels and such. When I take a photo, I stop time. It's like a single moment, frozen for as long as we can think.

Nothing lasts forever, indeed. People will leave, places will be brought down and even memories will slowly fade. It's stupefyingly awful, but that's how it is. And I'll kinda have to accept that.

October 5, 2012

this blog

A few days ago, my little cousin Raya found me complaining about my blog name. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her about how my blog name didn't really represent what I was trying to say - the message from my life that I want to convey to all of you. I told her about how odd and strange it was, how flawed it was top to bottom: and then I told her that I was thinking of a new blog title.

"Stella? I like Tease Your Toes. It's unique. Don't change it, please."

Now, yes, I'd admit: I've had some insecurities about this blog, about its content- about everything. I've been thinking a lot about this blog and its essence - truly something I don't want to lose, but definitely something I want to improve on.

I've got lots to say about what I've been thinking about towards this little cyberspace of mine - how I treat it, why I use it and its relevance. I have honestly been so inspired by so many of you, words cannot (and might not ever) suffice.


Koala-tea over quantity.
I'm going to try it all differently.
I'm going to blog like I mean it.
I'm going to mean what I write and photograph.
I'm going to try my best to post some good stuff.

You know? Real, real stuff.

And this blog name? I think it'll stick.
There's still that strange yet joyful vibe about it.

innovations are always for the better, now, aren't they?

October 1, 2012

a happy customer

Note! In no way was I asked, influenced or required to write about this, I am merely sharing what's been making me happy for the past week! :)

I stumbled upon My Four Hens photography a few months ago, and you cannot believe how happy I am with my purchase. I bought their Serendipity Lightroom set which was placed at a fair price - almost a dollar for a versatile preset, with three extra ones!

And, I have to say, these presets are really doing me lots'a good.
If you've been debating on getting these presets or not, let me save your life by telling you to get them. If you haven't browsed the website yet, go now, buy something and have the most fun you might ever have when it comes to editing on Lightroom! I am actually looking forward to purchasing another set! Have fun!

September 30, 2012

dear stella, # 2

Have I kept you all waiting for so long? I've finally written the second letter of the series. (What progress.)

Dear Stella,

How does it feel to have Mom finally allow you to touch her camera? Nothing so special? Quite surprising? Amusing? How do you feel about it? Nothing? Oh. 

Well, here's a little something from me. I want you to remember that moment. I want you to remember how your eyes gleamed in delight when you took your first picture - what was your first picture, by the way? I want you to remember how you slowly started to familiarize yourself with how it worked. Everything possible. Just, do, remember. Remember, remember, remember. And why?

That event, dear Stella, is truly a life defining one. The day it all started - this photography madness - will start a whole new interest for you. I want you to write about it. 

It's a simple letter, yes. Not as dramatic as you might've hoped,
but after a year and almost ten months from then, you'll realize why I evidently stress on it.



P. S You drop it twice during a school trip. When you wake up on the third day of the trip, please tighten the straps.

September 29, 2012

oh, october?

I pity myself when I see all of you talk about autumn, and realize how lucky you are to have that beautiful season that I have only ever been able to experience from photos or movies. I think of big piles of leaves, jumping in them and making messes (stereotypical or...?) and how the wind slowly becomes colder as the days grow by....

Anyhow, I can't believe that October starts after tomorrow, it's hysterical! Time has gone by so fast, yesterday felt like summer was just beginning. However, I am looking forward to so many things. (More blog posts, and Christmas being some of them.) I can't believe September is ending!!!

But just like I promised, here's a video I made to honor this fabulous month that's going to end so soon.

Here's to

the sleepovers
the baking dates
the concerts
the bowling party

the people
that made
this month

e x t r e m e l y


October? Bring it!